‘What’s in a name’ was the overall theme for yesterday’s meetings at Chatham, both of which were led by Major Karen Ramsay in the absence of Major Andrea Still who is on holiday.
The morning focused on the name of Jesus and the meeting opened with the familiar song ‘At the name of Jesus’ followed by a corporate declaration based on Romans 8:17 ‘I am a joint heir with Christ and he has qualified me to share in his inheritance’.
‘Jesus, name above all names’ continued the worship together with scripture from Matthew 6:5-15. A typed copy of these verses was placed on each chair for people to consider and highlight what was particularly relevant to themselves. Prayer followed.
‘There’s no other name but this name’ and ‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower’ continued to focus on the theme before Paul Woodhouse entertained the children. He spoke about names and displayed a series of pictures on the screens of present corps members when they were very young. All were recognizable largely because some were actually in the meeting. Paul then gave the meanings of the names revealed and thus illustrated how Jesus has so many names by which he is known.
The choruses ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, sweetest name I know’ and ‘Jesus, what a beautiful name’ introduced the contribution from the Songsters (Compelled by love) and Major Karen delivered her sermon (The name of Jesus) and said (summarised):
I am preparing to move quarters at the moment and yesterday I was going through all my books to see what could be disposed of to avoid unnecessary transport. In so doing I came across a book which is very relevant to this meeting and my chosen subject. It helped me a lot.
Jesus Christ has over 100 names and titles but we will not look at all of them this morning. This demonstrates his enormity but so often we try to put him in a little box. He is able to give us complete joy when we ask in his name. So much of scripture refers to acts carried out ‘in Jesus name’ and I want to concentrate this morning on the act of prayer because he can give us incredible results.
So, what does it mean to pray ‘in the name of Jesus’. First of all it means we are admitting our own bankruptcy. We can go to the ‘Bank of Heaven’ with his name on our cheques We identify our relationship with Jesus when we pray in his name. To pray in his name is to ask for his authority so long as we pray in accordance with his will, to which we submit. To ask in his name is to ask in his nature which is one of submission. Prayer which is not in his will won’t be answered.
Jesus has given EVERY believer unlimited ‘Power of Attorney’ with the right to petition everything ‘in his name’.
Some names recognized by members of the congregation were Vine, Door, Light, Redeemer, the Word, the Way, the Truth, the Life – just a few examples; readers may think of many more.
‘Jesus, be the centre’ gave time for reflection and General Albert Orsborn’s classic ‘I know thee who thou art’ brought the worship to a conclusion.
In the evening Major Karen focused on God’s name using the song ‘Immortal, invisible, God only wise’ as the opening song. The corporate declaration was based on 2 Timothy 1:9 (I am called by God) and a prayer song (Wonderful saviour, wonderful God) followed.
Two worship songs (‘Lord, I lift your name on high’and ‘He is exalted’) introduced a time of personal testimony which was followed by the contribution from the Band (Deep and wide).
‘He has made me glad’ was sung before scripture was read from Exodus 3:1-15 and the Songsters brought ‘One life to live’ before Major Karen gave her message entitled ‘God’s name’. Summarised she said:
What’s in a name? My name, Karen, is a popular name and it means ‘Pure’. When we think about the history of names we often see a generational influence, people called after their father or mother as a example. Whatever the derivation our names are precious because they identify who we are.
The Salvation Army Doctrines say that the scriptures are given by the inspiration of God. God himself has many names and they are illustrative of his qualities. You only have to refer to the songs we have used this evening. These qualities are all found in scripture and we will now look at the importance of knowing who God is. This will lead, hopefully, to a deeper faith and understanding of God.
We trust in God’s holy name. Maybe we find this hard at first but it comes with time. This trust brings joy in the long run as we learn to cheerfully rely on him.
It is an awesome thought but a true one. God desires to know you! Our response must be to seek a greater knowledge of him and to appreciate his greatness. He is a strong and powerful God. Just in the name of Jesus there is salvation. We are his holy people and he is almighty. He is also our hope, guide and friend. In fact he is many wonderful things to us and he will reshape and mould us for the future.
If we know the character of God we will be strong in our faith. I want to encourage you to seek this character and take hold of the strength God gives.
The song ‘Wonderful Counsellor, mighty God among us’ brought the worship to a close. The Benediction ‘God be in my head and in my understanding’ was read together.
In closing we wish to thank you for reading our website and hope you return soon. Have a great week.